What’s the value of a buck? Or, better yet, what’s the value of $100?

It wasn’t until I started charging $100 an hour for my time that I “got right” with myself in my business. Until then, I felt nervous & unsure. I often felt resentful of my clients to whom I gave my all. Most disappointingly, because the investment was so low, I found my clients often did nothing with what I suggested.

Bumping up my price to $100 solved a lot of problems and helped me to “get right” with money.

But my prices didn’t stay there long, by January of this year, I had decided to double those prices to $200 per hour with a minimum 2 hour commitment.

What would someone pay you $100 per hour to talk to you about?
— Danielle LaPorte, author of The Fire Starter Sessions

I’ve talked before about how my family had very little money growing up. I’ve also talked about how somehow my mom never managed to say “that’s too expensive” to me.

The value of a dollar has been very real to me throughout my life. The idea of one hundred of them lined up neatly representing an hour of my time seemed entirely unreasonable.

Besides, my previous employer made it quite clear that my time was worth much less than $13 per hour.

I suspect that this is true for many people. If having $100 left over at the end of the week or even the end of the month seems like freedom, I’m talking to you. This isn’t reflective so much of how much you, your partner, or your parents make – it’s reflective of how you use money.

How you understand the value of $100 is reflective of the relationship you have with money.

And you can’t truly know what people would pay you $100 per hour to talk to them about until you come to terms with your relationship to that $100.

When $100 represents feeding your family or not, or having cable or not, or making the full mortgage payment or not, it is near impossible to assign that value to your time. However, when you cross the line into service provider, business owner, maker, or artist, you begin to realize that “or nots” are not the name of the game.

There simply is no “or not” associated with your time. Your time represents possibilities: more clarity, more time, more beauty, more travel, more pride, more space, more organization, more strategy. Instead of being a choice between having or not having, there is the possibility of so much more than what is paid for.

$100 becomes a gateway to greater things.

What “greater things” will someone gain from talking to you for an hour?

Do you see how [those things] are worth a Benjamin Franklin?

Want to get right by that $100? Here are two ideas:

1.) Invest in something for your business (coaching, an ebook, a course, a service, etc…) that is $100 or analyze a previous investment. Keep track of how that investment improves your work.

Does it help you get your work done faster?
Does it make you $500 in one month?
Does is improve your customer service?
Does it reduce your stress?

Analyze that true transactional value of that $100. Was it worth the money you gave up? Was it worth the investment?

2.) Buy a $100 dress or sweater or pair of shoes. Wear it constantly for 6 weeks. Consider the difference between that purchase and a $15 Target version.

What’s the wear & tear like?
How’s the comfort level?
What’s the style quotient?
Would you wear it 3 years from now?

Analyze the true transaction value here. Would you rather have this $100 piece or 7 Target pieces?

Neither of these experiences are fool proof. The value of your time isn’t either. But extending these examples over time, the value of $100 becomes more & more clear.

There is often a greater exponential benefit in spending $100 than in spending considerably less.

That’s why $100 has to be the minimum. On top of all the cost-of-living, cost-of-doing-business equations, I think you’ll find that charging $100 per hour for your service (or labor) is the bare minimum others expect for good results.

Charge less and you signal that you offer inferior results.

Now free is a different story.

Charging nothing is disengaging. People don’t know what to expect. They’re caught off guard.

Offering your service for free gives you a chance to find your $100 offer. You can practice with the idea of delivering superior results. You can see the value of your service (or labor) reflected back to you.

So how comfortable are you with 100 big ones? Please share your experience with money & time by leaving a response below.